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All Inclusive in Cuba - what are the best?

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I would like to find out about some of the All-Inclusive hotels in Cuba. I have heard good things about Super Club Varadero, but it seems to be more expensive than the rest.

Looking for recommendations - also - please comment on the food, room and area.

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    Stephanie, you might want to reconsider visiting Cuba. It's not safe. A 26 year old Dane was shot to death by Cuban troops for wandering into a restricted area which was not clearly marked. Here's what his parents had to say: A FINAL NOTE FROM THE FAMILY OF JOACHIM OGNER LOVSCHALL ~Terrorism occurs all over the world and is carried out by terrorists. In Cuba, inhumane and inexcusable acts of lawlessness and injustice are carried out, not by terrorists, but by the
    Cuban government. Jyllands-Posten - Article in original Danish
    (http://www.jp.dk/cgi-bin/dbpublish.dll?page%25253Dnyheder/forside) or visit for the document translated in English at:
    http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/dangerousvacatio111197.html

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    Hi Stephanie,my wife and I have been to "all inclusive" resorts in Guardalvaca,Camaguey(Club Amigo)and two in Manzanillo.The beaches are better in Guardalavca but we like the Manzanillo area better as this was the first area of Cuba we visited.There are two resorts we visit ,Marea del Portillo and Farallon.My wife and I have gone twice this year and my wife went down by herself last month for her third visit this year.The food is good and the Cubans really appreciate the help most tourists give.If you like a quiet ,SAFE,holiday we would suggest you try there.Another couple are going with us this January to the Don Lino resort close to Holguin I will let you know what it's like.Regards

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    Hi Stephanie: I was down in Camaguey,Cuba April '97
    for 1 week - stayed at Club Amigo an all-inclusive
    resort, had a wonderful time. Food was good, beach
    was OK - people very friendly and helpful, only one
    peddler on the beach trying to sell cigars to everyone. I have not been to Varadero but a friend
    of mine has-he stayed at Super Club Varadero. This
    resort is more expensive than the others, but he
    said it was worth every penny, apparently the beach
    was fantastic - snorkelling was "THE BEST". If you
    do go Stephanie, just be gracious to the Cubans and
    bring a few trinkets from home for them. We brought
    with us pencils, chocolate bars, soap, shampoo, baseball hats, a few t-shirts, stockings, lipstick
    and nailpolish. At the end of the trip we even gave
    our sandles and a Blue Jays golf shirt (which we wearing) away. The Cubans were most grateful for
    these small items. Hope this helps, enjoy beautiful
    Cuba and have a wonderful trip!

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    Hi Stephanie,it's me again!(John Suarez's brother)I mentioned Holguin in my last posting,we spent a too short week at hotel Rio de Luna,depending on your age,you might enjoy this area best of all.(a younger set!)The beaches are fantastic.Kelly and his donkey sell soft drinks and beer right on the beach!Kind regards to you,Roland,Nils and my friends in Miami. Lang may your lums reek and a mouse find a crum in your pantry.

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    Hi Stephanie. We stayed at TUXPAN HOTEL, right next door to Club Varadero on Varadero Beach. Tuxpan resort was great. The FOOD (huge selection and lots of it) was great!! They have theme nights for the buffets. There were 4 or 5 different food stations - a hot section, salad and side order section, breads and soups and dessert tables. We were overwhelmed by the amount and variety of foods to choose from. Many people from other hotels (who paid more than we did) complained of being served only chicken. We had chicken, beef, pork, turkey, ham, fish, seafood etc. Two nights a week, the menu is a la carte and is very good. It was one of our best vacations - phenomenal value for the money.

    The BEACH - a long, long, long 7 km, white, glorious, clean, safe, crystal clean, blue-shallow-sandy-bottom-water edged stretch was never-ending and all the hotels share it. The beaches are not private and you can walk forever across the entire 7 kms of beach fronting any hotel without feeling restricted or that you are trespassing onto another hotel's property. You can walk out into the water forever and it's only up to your chest AND you can still see your toes - it's incredibly clear and clean and beautiful and (stop me any time soon) but this is the BEST beach I've ever been to.

    BREAKFAST (huge buffet again with hot grill section providing bacon, sausages etc and massive bread selection as well as eggs done any style and cereals, juices etc) and DINNER (picture another expanse of food, as above) were included. DRINKS (alcoholic) were not, but were reasonably priced. You could also buy your own liquor right on the property or at Tuxpan's sister hotel, the Bella Costa on the other side of Tuxpan. Happy hour daily - a good deal.

    ROOMS were nice - not spectacular but with TV, phone, air con, small table and two chairs, balcony with table and chairs. Good view of the ocean. Ask for top floor, ocean side if you can (only four story, but best view from the top floor).

    NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT was OK but not great. Sometimes it was not so good. BUT they have since changed their shows and now have a huge tropicalisimo vegas type show which is becoming more renowned in the Varadero area and people from other hotels are now allowed to come to the show. I expect that the entertainment has improved as I know that they are hyping the show now.

    ACTIVITIES: They do have water aerobics, aerobics and some other games - didn't partake. Some were tooooooo corny or there wasn't a lot of participation although there were a lot of people there. Did do a water aerobics class but some of the moves were actually not demonstrated correctly (or wrong altogether - stressful for your joints) and it was obvious that the instructor's training was not the best.

    DOWNTOWN is a short 10-15 minute ride either by cab or horsedrawn buggie (don't pay too much). Ask them before getting in what the charge is. Can't remember, but it was cheap (in 96 it was under $5 one way). Not too much to do in town, some restaurants, discos, the strip etc. There's a mini-mart if you want to buy "snacks" which you couldn't get at the hotel (that may have changed by now). If you buy something to eat or drink make sure it's from a reputable place or is bottled. There were people buying very, very cheap drinks from a place that the glasses were grossly dirty. YUCK. I can't imagine that they weren't sick the next day.

    TIPPING could be anything. If you want to tip in cash go ahead. We tipped with material items which they couldn't afford to buy: soap, dollar-store items (lipsticks, pantyhose, earrings, hair clips, nailfiles, nailclippers (with Canadian flag), nailpolish etc.), deodorants, candy, gum, pens, crayons for their kids, small notepads etc.. The employees of these hotels make approx. $250US A MONTH, which is paid by the hotels to the government in U.S. dollars and the government converts the money to peso's to pay the employees. Many items are out of their reach financially. They will appreciate any item you give them.

    NIGHTLIFE: music mostly spanish or outdated and you will hear many remakes of english songs redone in spanish. We are young, hip, party animals ourselves but were startled to find MANY, MANY, MANY prostitues on the streets at night and in the discos. They are very forward and YOUNG. Do not let this bother you and if you can, ignore them and have a good time. We were not warned about this and we stunned at both the number of prostitutes and their young ages. In one nightclub, I'd say it was: 80%25 prostitues, 17%25 men (mostly tourists) looking to pick them up, and 3%25 tourist and Dominican couples out to have a good time. It was hard to "party" when everywhere you looked was like a big orgy waiting to happen. Even harder when you recognize that many of these men had wives back home.

    OTHER SHOWS: There is a really good show in a cave also in Varadero area. Can't remember the name, ask at your hotel. Highly recommend you see it. Drinks are expensive unless you do what we did - buy the entire bottle of liquor and your accompanying mix to go with it. You can take the bottle with you if you can't finish it. Dominican rum is excellent - but choose at least 5 or 7 year aged - it's also dirt cheap. Good prices on rum at the Bella Costa hotel gift shop next door.

    SUN: We tan easily and don't usually burn. We did here. Extrememly hot and sun burns even through the clouds. Take at least a SPF 30 sunscreen and work your way down to SPF 15 (if you tan easily). Take the necessary precautions. One bad burn increases your chance for skin cancer by 30%25.

    All in all, had a great time. If you love a good beach, one week in Varadero will be way toooooo short. We went for two and after the first week, there were people literally in tears who had only booked one week - they even wanted to stay longer but the hotel was fully booked.

    Hope this helps.

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    Tom: what the devil are "lums"? Why would I want them to reek? Translation please. Have you considered changing your name to Tomas? Reading the experiences above I'm struck at how much Cuba is to a country just devastated by war. When tourists feel they have to give out little trinkets and the prostitutes are roaming all over shouldn't this tell you something about your own role in fostering the deprivations of the Cuban people? Is a beach resort worth your sense of personal honor? Shame on all of you.

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    Roland, I was being nice! A lum is a scotch word for chimney and reek means smoke,so if your chimney is smoking it means that you can afford a fire.And the mouse and the crumb speaks for itself.Yes,Ronald,they do call me Tomas.I never said that things were perfect,prostitution is getting worse,but as long as I can I will go to help my friend for as long as I'm able.Regards and kind wishes for your thanksgiving!

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    Tom: thanks for your thanksgiving good wishes. I just wish the poor Cubans could afford a meal like we have here. Well, my lums are reeking so I suppose things are going well for us. OK if you want to help a buddy in Cuba I'd be the last to object. Just don't leave much of your dough with the beard. I just read an article in the Nuevo Herald of Miami to the effect that the Cubans in the US are sending over $1 billion annually to starving relatives in Cuba in violation of the US embargo and that this sum is greater than the revenues from tourism or sugar exports. So there you are and one must ask if this embargo makes sense because the historical fact is that embargoes seldom move the country supposedly impacted due to evasions and sieves all over. Hope your lums are reeking (and they better given your chilly weather).

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    What a sad sad world we live in.One quote given by Marti,was great love for all Cubans,and his insistence for NOT teaching poisonous hatred among countrymen to children.This quote was recently used by Father Medina in Santiago de Cuba while laying a wreath at Marti's grave(while some Cubans cried "Viva Cuba,Libre"),and at the same time,in the town of Cristo,the masonic lodge led a pilgrimage in Marti's Honour(AS A MASON MYSELF,I FEEL REALLY PROUD OF THIS)So instead of vilifying Cuba we should join forces and help the people and forget all this talk of the "BEARD" Again,allow Robert Burns to say the right thing.....come it will and come it must and come it will for all that,that man to man the world over,Shall brothers be for all that.To HUMANITY,Tom PATRICK

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